ARLINGTON -- Robinson Cano continued putting together a powerful second half, hitting his 17th home run and racking up four RBIs in the Mariners' 9-2 victory over the Rangers on Sunday.
The six-time All-Star has batted .326 with 13 homers and 45 RBIs over his last 70 games, hiking his season totals to .281 with 34 doubles, 17 home runs and 69 RBIs in 144 games. Those are far more Cano-like numbers, and he'll keep pushing over the final two weeks.
"Finishing strong is important for all of us," he said. "You've got fans. Season-ticket holders, fans who watch the games. You have to show respect for them and go out and play hard every single day."
With Sunday's win, at 73-77, the Mariners remain six back of Houston for the American League's second Wild Card with 12 games to go. Mathematically, Seattle retains a small chance, but realistically it's shooting to get to .500 and finish as best as possible.
The Yankees and Astros hold the two Wild Card spots, but the Mariners would also have to leapfrog the Angles, Twins, Indians and Orioles to reach the postseason.
"There are a lot of games left, but we have to hope so many other teams lose games," Cano said. "Last year, it was just Oakland. Now it's Minnesota, Houston, the Yankees. You have to wait for several teams to lose and we have to win. But anything can happen. And until we make the last out, we're going to keep playing."
Cano ripped a three-run homer off Derek Holland to highlight Seattle's six-run fifth inning, a shot projected at 414 feet by Statcast™.
"That was a slider that stayed up in the middle of the plate," Cano said. "I was ready to take advantage of that one."
He needs three more hits to reach 2,000 for his career, which would make him the 14th player in MLB history to reach 2,000 in his first 11 seasons.